Behind president Samia Suluhu’s planned visit to Kenya

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Tanzania's president Samia Suluhu Hassan will be visiting Kenya on Tuesday; Courtesy Photo

The President of the United Republic of Tanzania, Samia Suluhu Hassan will pay an official two-day State visit to Kenya from Tuesday, 4th May 2021, Kenya’s Statehouse has confirmed.

A tentative programme released by State House said President Suluhu will hold bilateral talks with her host, President Uhuru Kenyatta, before addressing a joint sitting of the National Assembly and the Senate.

She will also address a forum of Kenyan and Tanzanian businesspeople in Nairobi for the purpose of addressing various issues of trade and investment between Kenya and Tanzania, Gerson Msigwa, Suluhu’s Spokesman, said on Sunday.

President Samia’s visit comes almost five years since her predecessor, the late John Magufuli, made a similar visit.

It also comes a week after she addressed the Tanzanian Parliament, vowing to improve local policies to attract foreign investors and sustain relations within the East African Community (EAC) and other regional trading blocs.

In her address to Parliament last week, Suluhu admitted that Tanzania’s business environment has been unproductive with irregular changes in policies. She said she will make it a priority to relate with other countries for business.

Both the Kenyan and Tanzanian sides belong to the East African Community, but participation in the bloc has been irregular under Magufuli. Magufuli even skipped the last meeting of heads of state in February before he died in March.

The talks between the two leaders are expected to move towards removing the non-tariff barriers to trade between Kenya and Tanzania whose bilateral trade is largely latent.

Just days after taking oath as president, HE Suluhu made a state visit to Uganda where she witnessed the signing of key agreements paving way for the construction of the 1,440 km crude oil pipeline from Uganda’s Albertine region to the Tanzanian seaport of Tanga.

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